Monday, June 14, 2010

Shannon O'Donnell comments on Salma Hayek Pinault breastfeeding another's baby

Like Salma, my mom used to tell me about how my great-aunt and her friend used to babysit and breastfreed each other's babies while the other worked. At that time, 80+ years ago, there was no such thing as "formula" nor the ultra-efficient double-electric breast pumps we have today. These women depended on and supported each other by taking care of each other's babies in every sense of the word.

When faced with a similar situation, my own mothering instinct kicked in . . . and in giving I truly received. Here's my story:


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Congratulations to Tiffany B. Petty - Winner of our Mother's Day Giveaway

We appreciate everyone who entered our contest! Look for more giveaway contests in the future!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Free Giveaway Contest to Celebrate Mother's Day for all Pumping Moms!

Next Sunday, May 9th, is Mother’s Day, and what a great time to celebrate all moms who pump to provide breast milk for their babies! Pumpin’ Pal is sponsoring our first official giveaway contest. We know moms who are uncomfortable pumping are more likely to quit. Our NAPPA Gold Award-winning Pumpin’ Comfort Breast Pumping Necessity Kit makes all the difference in the world!

Pregnant? Enter our contest to win so you’ll be ready to pump comfortably once you deliver!
Already pumping? Our pumping accessories (necessities!!!) will make your pump sessions a lot more comfortable!
Have a pregnant friend or co-worker? Our Pumpin’ Comfort Kit makes the perfect shower gift!

Contest ends at midnight on Sunday, May 9th. If you purchase our Pumpin’ Comfort Kit between now and May 9th and then you’re chosen as the lucky winner, we will refund your purchase price!! To enter this contest, visit our website (
Pumpin’ Pal International) and then come back here and leave a comment letting us know why our Pumpin’ Comfort Breast Pumping Necessity Kit would be helpful for you or a friend. Be sure to include your email address so we can notify you if you win! This is mandatory in order to be considered for a prize. One lucky winner will be chosen randomly at the end of the contest.

Once you’ve entered by visiting our website and leaving a comment, you can increase your chance of winning by doing any of the following activities (you can do as many as you’d like – but remember to leave a comment about each one and provide a link!):

1) Become a fan of
Pumpin’ Pal International on Facebook
2) Follow
@PumpinPal_Pres on Twitter
3) Tweet your friends and followers – include a link back to this page and include

@PumpinPal_Pres in your tweet (you can do this once a day for additional entries) Tell all your
friends about it!!
4) Blog about this giveaway! Remember to come back here and leave a comment and a link to

your post (we like reading blogs, too!!)
5) Not on Facebook, Twitter, etc.? That’s ok! Simply email your friends – cc: us on your email

( and leave a comment here as well. We promise not to add anyone
to our mailing list.

Like our products and want to order but would rather wait to see if you win? Go ahead and order – if you win we’ll refund your money!

Our contest is open to everyone with a US mailing address ONLY. All entrants must complete the initial entry before completing any of the additional entries. Again, our contest ends at midnight on Mother’s Day, May 9, 2010. Incomplete entries will be disqualified. Winner will be notified by email by Friday, 5/14/10. Winner must respond to our email notification within 48 hours; otherwise, we reserve the right to choose another winner. Please do not contact us to find out if you won - winner will be posted on the blog and again, winner will be notified by email.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Olives and other reminders our kids are growing up right before our eyes

I originally published this blog a year ago in my other blog. However, I'm trying to simplify my life so I can spend more energy being me - noticing and writing about the things in life that are the most important without having to compartmentalize. This week I had one of these special "mommy moments" when my 7 year old wanted to play at the mall play area. He's way taller than the sign but I was all for it. And I smiled inside when he asked for quarters to ride a kiddie ride. Not surprising that big brother wasn't with us :).

If you're a mom, I'm sure you'll relate to this one. Enjoy . . .

Some of my greatest joys and sorrows as a mom are days when something happens and I realize (really realize) my boys are growing up. Not that I don't want them to grow up. I get a lot of joy watching their progress and seeing them take their "next step," but it's often bittersweet.Take olives, for example . . .From the time they were first sitting up at the dinner table, both of my boys would put an olive on every single finger to eat them off, plucking them into their mouth, one finger at a time. I loved doing it as a kid and make sure we have plenty of olives so they can do it time and again. Somewhere along the line Ryan, my oldest, stopped doing it. But I didn't pay all that much attention because Sean was still happily topping his little fingers with olives, and then biting them off, one finger at a time.

A couple nights ago he started to put olives on his fingers. But when he got to his thumb, oh no . . . the olive didn't fit. Instead, it broke right open as he tried to push it on. He was amused. And I was sad. Ugh. It was a sad mommy moment. My boys thought it was silly that I was sad. But I knew that moms and dads everywhere knew the feeling I was experiencing, and would experience multiple times throughout the years. I know that when I serve olives, they'll continue to stuff them on the fingers, oblivious to the fact that they break open -- and I'll remember the night when his little thumb broke through because he was no longer my tiny little boy with tiny little fingers.

Friday, April 23, 2010

We Take Turns

As a mom, our hearts run the gamut from overflowing with joy to aching with pain. Today, mine did both. I was helping at our school’s “Exploration Friday,” a special day held every few months, where the kids have the opportunity to participate in special classes and activities led by parents and other community leaders.

Today I was helping a parent whose group was making Mother’s Day cards. I know first-hand the specialness of those adorable hand-made gifts – names written on multiple lines because they run out of room before they run out of letters, lots and lots and lots of glue, pieces coming off the page, etc. Little kids’ Mother’s Day cards and gifts are the best!!

Glue, markers, scissors, instructions . . . some kids pick it up quickly and are off and running. Others need step-by-step guidance as they carefully complete each task.

As I sat down next to a five year old who was struggling, I started asking him what type of flower he wanted to cut out for his mom. He said, “I don’t have a mom.” Pause. “My mom died.” Oh my. “Ok,” I said to myself, “How am I supposed to respond?” Seeing that he seemed to have accepted it and was smiling as he worked, I suggested he make the card for his dad. He happily continued on. I was still stunned and sad.

As the next class started working on their Mother’s Day cards, another little boy just sat there, seemingly “stuck.” The teacher came over and asked him what he was going to make for his mom. “I never see my mom. She works until midnight every night,” and then he mumbled something about wanting to make it for his dad. The teacher glanced at me, both of us noticing his reluctance and sadness. And we both sensed that he was looking for acceptance - permission to validate the person who was truly his “mom” in the sense of the everyday. Grateful for my earlier experience, I casually let him know that another boy in the prior class had made his card for his dad, too. This seemed to free him up. The teacher and I locked eyes, both saddened by his reality and aware of his internal struggled to come to grips with his own confusion about the feelings he was experiencing.

I don’t know his mom, and I don’t know his situation. All I could think was that his mom’s heart most likely breaks many nights when she comes home and her kids are sleeping. She, too, probably vacillates between being glad she has a job to help put food on the table, and anger and sadness that it’s at the expense of being with her kids. I’m quite sure many dads experience the same thing.

I know that parenting is an ongoing challenge. We all make sacrifices and do the best we can. I walked away grateful that I have a home office and am usually there in the morning and throughout the day, and then I have the privilege of tucking our kids in bed each night, alongside my husband. If you saw my facebook post earlier today, you may have noticed my prayer – it’s that I can be a loving, nurturing parent to kids when their parents aren’t there. As my friend said a few hours ago (I had tears in my eyes as I told her the story), “We take turns.” Yes, we do. And I’m grateful for the men and women who are there for my kids when I’m not, whether it’s because I’m actually gone or I’m having a bad day and the kids have a grump for a mom!! We take turns.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year - Here's to Playing and Celebrating Life in Every Way

Like everyone else, I am always surprised and caught a bit off-guard when we start a new year, asking, "Where did the time go? I can't believe we're already through the holidays." It sneaks up time after time; you'd think after 45 years I wouldn't be as surprised, but I am!

What does this year hold? The promise of amazement, awareness, and wonder. Having two kids (and now a dog!), I often notice how they are so "in the moment" -- just living and playing and being. I have to make an effort to "play," whereas it's effortless for my kids and my husband. Sometimes I'm a bit hard on myself for not being very good at it. Other times, I simply accept that my skills and gifts show up in other areas (like cooking a great dinner they come in and enjoy after playing hard all day!)

And then there's Bo, our new dog, who's as gentle and playful as can be. He bounds joyfully and effortlessly into my lap when I sit down in the morning to pray and meditate, his warm little body resting easily in my lap. Simple pleasures, simple gifts . . . celebrating the "everyday-ness" of life.

Happy New Year. May you be blessed with comfort, acceptance, and a warm little friend to help slow your breathing and help you recognize the beauty all around and in you.